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Update: Smoke Alarm Legislation

Update: Smoke Alarm Legislation

Published: April 08, 2020 Last Updated: January 22, 2020

If you live in Queensland you will know that the temperature can sky rocket, especially in summer, and fires are quite common almost any time of year (sadly). That is why smoke alarms have always been a regular addition to a majority of homes across the state but, after the tragic loss of 11 lives in a Brisbane house fire in 2011, it was decided that the legislation needed to change.

So, in 2016, major changes to smoke alarm laws were announced to protect people all across Queensland, with the new legislation due to rollout over a 10 year period starting 1 January 2017. But what does that mean for homeowners and renters a few years later?

From 1 January 2017

If you are a homeowner, if your smoke alarms were manufactured more than 10 years ago or you need to replace them, they must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms that

comply with Australian Standards (AS) 3786-2014. All your smoke alarms should be interconnected and hardwired, or powered by a non-removable 10 year battery. This also applies to any homes being sold, leased or a new lease is being signed.

If you are building a new home or substantially renovating, your home must have hardwired, photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms installed. They must be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source (i.e. battery), not contain an ionisation sensor and be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together. You must have smoke alarms on each storey of the house, in every bedroom, in hallways or areas that connect bedrooms to the rest of the house and, if a storey doesn't have a bedroom at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

If you are a renter, your landlord is responsible for compliance with the smoke alarm legislation. During a tenancy in a domestic dwelling, the tenant must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling, at least once every 12 months.

From 1 January 2022

If you are selling or leasing your home, your home must have hardwired, photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms installed. They must be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source (i.e. battery), not contain an ionisation sensor and be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together. You must have smoke alarms on each storey of the house, in every bedroom, in hallways or areas that connect bedrooms to the rest of the house and, if a storey doesn't have a bedroom at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling. If hardwired alarms are not possible, they must be powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.

From 1 January 2027

If you are a homeowner, you must have photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms that are either a hardwired (eg. 240v) or contain a non-removable 10 year battery. You must have smoke alarms on each storey of the house, in every bedroom, in hallways or areas that connect bedrooms to the rest of the house and, if a storey doesn't have a bedroom, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling. This also applies to any new homes being built, sold, leased or a new lease is being signed.

If you are concerned about meeting smoke alarm legislation requirements, speak to your local specialists (such as Alltronic Security and Electrical) and they will be able to assist.

To find out more information, head to the informative document released by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services here.

Resources:

Queensland Government (Changes to Queensland's smoke alarm legislation): https://www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/smoke-alarm-legislation

Queensland Government - Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (Smoke Alarms): https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/community-safety/smokealarms/Pages/default.aspx

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